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Article Title

From Gay to Gei: The Onnagata and the Creation of Kabuki's Female Characters

Abstract

In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

From 1629 to 1877, women were officially forbidden to act in Japan's kabuki theater, which-under the leadership of a former shrine priestess named Okuni-they had founded in 1603. From 1629 on, male actors, the onnagata, played women's roles. The reasons for the banning of actresses have been frequently recounted elsewhere and need not be reexamined here in detail.

Comparative Drama is carried by JSTOR and Project MUSE.

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